WASHINGTON — Despite approved plans for a $150 million stadium in the District, D.C. United is listening to pitches from Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Loudoun County officials that would bring the team’s home across the Potomac.
The deal approved by the D.C. Council last December took almost two years to negotiate, but Loudoun County is now courting the team as well, claiming the project could be completed faster and at a lower cost than in the District. The team currently plays at RFK Stadium in the District.
A source close to the stadium negotiations told The Washington Post that the team is not pleased with the idea of having to pay possible cost overruns or provide protections should the team not build the stadium for any reason once the District has acquired the land. Also, The Post reports that Loudoun Economic Development Director Buddy Rizer has met with team officials multiple times leading up to a tour of potential sites around the county.
In an email with team officials, Rizer claimed that a stadium in Loudoun County would cost at least $38 million less than the proposed stadium in D.C., and that a 2017 opening of the stadium would be an “achievable goal” due to the county’s “fast track process” option. In February, the team acknowledged that the project would likely not be ready for the 2017 season.
Nearly half of the team’s fans live in Northern Virginia, compared to about a quarter in D.C. The team has been fighting for a new stadium in the District for nearly a decade.